Earthquake Effect on Sediment in Rivers and Deltas

by Brien R. Winkley,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Sediment Transport Modeling


Many authors have studied the age and distribution of the Holocene deltaic deposits of the Mississippi River. Several others have written about the magnitude and the recurrence interval of tectonic activity in the New Madrid Seismic zone. The estimated ages of both of these geologic phenomena covers a wide range. The shifting river courses and delta locations could be the result, of sediment surges, initiated by earthquakes with high body-wave magnitudes. The 1811-12 New Madrid Earthquake in the Lower Mississippi River Valley had four major shocks of 7.2, 7.0, 7.1 and 7.3 on the Modified Mercalli Scale (Nuttli 1973). The recurrence of an event of this magnitude may be responsible for sediment activities that could relocate river courses and deltas.

Subject Headings: Rivers and streams | Earthquakes | Sediment | Seismic tests | Seismic effects | Geology | Earthquake magnitude scale | Sediment transport | Mississippi River | Madrid | Spain | Europe

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